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As a parent, I am continuously confronted with challenges. The decisions I make as a parent seem so BIG. They seem so definite and so important. I mean, for some reason, someone thought I could be responsible for these two little munchkins! I really have to get this one right!

For those of you just tuning in, I had my second beautiful son about 3 months ago. The first 3 months always present new challenges as you are both getting to know each other. It is like a fitting in period between mom, baby and family. While my little John-John is a very easy-going yoga baby, we did have a “moment” around 2 weeks. He had dropped weight right after birth- which was normal; but he took immediately to breastfeeding and was doing great. I felt none of the anxiety or worry I did with my first son. I knew what I was doing this time and things were going great.

About 1 ½ weeks after birth, he still hadn’t gained his birth weight back, but since he was nursing so well, there were no red flags or worries yet. Just about the time my body was fully ready for this nursing journey, little baby John decided to refuse to nurse. He would cry out of hunger and then refuse to eat. I tried everything I could think of, but was at a loss. With all the post-pregnancy hormones and the fear that I could not provide for my baby, I started to lose it! Luckily, the lovely women at CMC-Northeast’s lactation center calmed my nerves and helped me through those hard couple days.

I left the lactation consultants with some new tricks up my sleeve and a little more confidence. With the assurance that John was going to be okay, I gave myself permission to relax. I took a step back, got a little space from the situation, and meditated. The idea that popped into my head was one that is repeated in yoga all the time. I told myself all I could do was show up. The next time John woke up to eat and started crying, I calmly got comfortable in the chair, did my best to make him comfortable, and then just took a breath. I stayed in the moment. I stayed calm. I stayed present. While he cried and rebelled, I just showed up. It still wasn’t a miraculous recovery back to easy nursing. It took a few days, but by staying present, I stayed sane. I let go of what had happened the past couple days. I let go of the idea that I could control or make anything happen. In one big word, I surrendered.

I know that as a parent all I can do each day is show up. That is all I can ask of myself. I have surrendered to the process. I continuously remind myself to find patience in the present. And, I don’t mean just physically being at the house. I mean 100% mind, body, and soul present for my children and my family. I can’t let my mind wander to a place of fear or anger or the past. I can’t spend time with my 4 year old if I am checking my email, writing a shopping list, and thinking about all the other things I have to do. I cannot constructively and effectively teach my children if I hold on to things I have done wrong in the past. I cannot teach them how to love if I don’t give from my heart each day. I have to show up for them every day, and I will not fail. When I show up as a parent, I can see how I shine on the faces of my children.

Every time we step on the mat, we show up for something a little bigger than we may even understand. Every time we step on our mats, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to practice presence and patience. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to shine.

~Jessica

 “…most of success is really about showing up…So, come into the moment, let go of the past, free your body, free your mind, free your heart – and allow grace to happen.”

-Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat

Just a reminder to all my yoga friends that I am doing a workshop in a couple weeks.  Looking so forward to being at this brand new Charlotte studio!  Check out my event page for the description and how to register!

What:  Balancing the Chakras

When:  Febuary 5th from 2:30 -4:30 PM

Where:  Charlotte Family Yoga Center (www.charlottefamilyyogacenter.com)

See you there!!

I am actually spending a week in Wilmington right now with my family scoping out homes and the area.  We will be back to Concord next week, but we are trying to get the lay of the land before moving here.  And naturally part of that is scoping out the yoga scene.

Well, yesterday I made my plan of the day as you always have to do with a 4-year-old and 12 week old in your house.  I told my hubby no matter what else went down I was going to Level 2 Hot Vinyasa at 2:30 pm and I would be totally unavailable for that 1 hour.  And, I was sooooooo looking forward to it. 

Well, wouldn’t you know the trip to the USS North Carolina here in Wilmington took a little longer than my husband and son expected which put me late getting to yoga.  We raced out of the parking lot (I even put little baby John in his car seat with a dirty diaper so we could make it on time 😦 bad Mommy!)  I quickly started changing clothes in the car – there was no way I would miss this class; I NEEDED it!  I needed to sweat, to get out of my head, to release some tension, and most importantly get away for a bit.

We pull out of the parking and hit the main road.  What do we see? A line of cars!  The bridge was up.  For those of you unfamiliar with Wilmington, they still have a draw bridge to allow ships to pass.  Very quaint and cute, but very inconvenient! 

I could feel it.  I was going to miss it.  My husband kept apologizing – he felt horrible.  And, he kept saying, “I think we will make it”, but I knew we wouldn’t.  I started to react.  I started ruminating on what I was missing; on what I thought I needed and was being denied; on whose fault it was and who I could blame.  Basically, I started getting pissed off – at everyone!

We made it back home and I was silent.  Chandler kept suggesting I find another class.  That was the last one of the day at the studio I was going to visit.  But, we happened to pass another studio on the way home.  It was not as big – just a little house with a little sign.  But, nonetheless, I googled them when I got home.  They did have a class starting one hour later  – but it was Basic Yoga Level 1.  Hmmm…not what I was looking for but I wanted to get out of the house and I thought that once I got there I could make it my own practice and try to make it a little more power  yoga – get a good sweat going on.  I mean I am a yoga instructor.

I left for class – still angry by the way.  I get there and walk into the studio.  The house was COLD.  I don’t mean not a hot class – it was down right frigid!  Again, another little thing punching me in the face today.  I did push on though.  I signed in and it was a small class.  One of these pay what you can and drop it in the cup kind of places.  The teacher seemed very nice though, and I thought this might not be so bad.  I just needed to get on my mat and MOVE!

I got all set up, got quiet on my mat, closed my eyes, starting my practice inward to what I wanted.  Well, ole’ teach came and started babbling of about this karma and that dharma and bliss in our bodies and our bodies being water and her diet Pepsi bottle…WHAT?!!  All I wanted her to do was shut up and start instructing.  Finally, she did. We did a little breathing and then in the middle of meditation she began to chant with the music.  Okay, still all this chatter!!  But, at least I’m moving a little.  After some hip circles we came into boat – oh yea!  Maybe this will be a good hardcore yoga workout – long boat holds at the beginning – challenging!  Then we rock forward and back and jump to plank/downdog…well that was the only semi-standing posture we had all day!!  She brought us back to seated.  Talked more.  Broke down some seated poses. 

Well, when she came back to talking about her Diet Pepsi bottle again, I just started laughing at myself.  I was like…”Okay,okay I get it.  I don’t know what I need or what I need to be doing today!  I need to just live my yoga and be here now.”  

All day I had built up an idea of what my yoga practice needed to be.  And, all day I had been blocked.  Obstacles got in the way.  Just like life – obstacles at every turn.  But, sometimes instead of trying to break down the obstacles and move the mountains, we just have to live with the obstacles and enjoy the mountain range.  Realize that those are the moments of learning and growth.  That this body we live in now is bliss.  It is the outward of expression of our spirit and if we don’t experience it in each moment as bliss we are denying ourselves and those around us so much happiness.

And, really was it all about me!  All day I kept getting mad because I wasn’t getting to do something.  It was their fault that I was late.  They must not care about my needs.  Very funny that all I wanted to do was yoga, but all day I denied myself yoga.  Yoga means “union” – union of the mind, the body, the spirit – a community of spirits and beings in this life.  Yoga is living with your families, your neighbors, strangers, even with the draw bridge operator in harmony.

So, I got a good laugh in class.  I let go and loosened up and left class feeling so much better than when I went in.  And, that my friends is YOGA!

Love and light from Wilmington!!

Jessica

Endings make great beginnings…

As many of you know (and probably many of you do not know), my husband took a new and great job in Wilmington, NC and my family will be moving in the near future. When we received the news, I immediately thought of my yoga family and what the future held for Balance Wellness Center. I am ecstatic to say that someone has stepped up as the new owner of the studio. Nye Hartwick (our own massage therapist extraordinaire) will be the new owner as we move into December. Nye is excited to continue the services and healing therapies that BWC has always offered, as well as infusing some of her own new and fresh energy.
 

So, this change is bitter sweet. While we are excited for possibilities and new things to come, we will miss our family, friends, and activities here in Concord. But, this is one of our many lessons in yoga – change is the only thing that is constant. Just as you master a new pose or find ease in a stretch, there comes a new edge to work. One day you flow effortless on the mat and you think “this is it! I have this yoga thing now”. But, then the next day you come into the studio and find that you are stiff, awkward, and you just don’t know where your grace went. But, that is the grace – the subtle reminder we are all human; that our emotions change; that our attitude is a state of mind; that even though we may be having a rough time right now – tomorrow is a new day and an opportunity to change.
 

While I will miss being the owner and a major presence at BWC, I do embrace the new opportunities ahead. I look forward to furthering my own practice; focusing more on svadhyaya (self-study); learning more about the ancient philosophies and teachings of yoga; and, developing more workshops and trainings to bring to the public. If you would like to continue to hear my “soap-box” and know about workshops, events, and trainings I will have in different areas, please go to www.shaktiyogawithjessica.wordpress.com  and follow my blog. I will also be returning to BWC for various events and look forward to seeing you then.
I thank you all for the opportunity to create this healing community. I took a leap of faith, opened something new, and you came to support us. Without you, we would not have a community. Everyone has taught me more in the past year than I ever expected. In watching you, you have taught me about strength by showing up even with the challenges of life running at you. You have taught me about compassion – on and off the mat. With your Karma Yoga, you have taught me about the power of a group and how as one we can make difference. You have changed me. You have stepped right into my heart and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for making a dream of mine becomes a reality. I cannot wait to see you all continue to thrive in this healing community for years to come. With love, I wish you all the best…
 

“For it was not in my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
-Judy Garland

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Upcoming Events

Current Class Schedule
Wilmington, NC

Tuesday
10:30 AM Vinyasa at Gold's Gym-Porter's Neck

Wednesday
8:15 AM Run to Yoga at Wilmington Athletic Club

6 PM Yoga for Athletes at Wilmington Performance Lab

Thursday
6:45 PM Vinyasa at Gold's Gym-Racine

Get details under Workshop and Class Descriptions

WEEKEND WORKSHOP -
INVERSIONS: TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN
MARCH 9TH
WILMINGTON PERFORMANCE LAB

MARCH 16TH - MINT HILL YOGA
VINYASA FLOW 9 AM - 11 AM
YOGA FOR ATHLETES 1 PM - 3 PM

MARCH 17TH - MINT HILL YOGA
THE ART OF ASSISTS AND ADJUSTMENTS
A TEACHER TRAINING
9 AM - 3 PM

APRIL 7TH - MAY 12TH
A 5K THE OM WAY:
YOGA AND RUNNING WORKSHOPS
SUNDAYS FROM 3:45 - 5 PM
GOLD'S GYM RACINE
WILMINGTON, NC

Jessica Hagler King

"Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt